08 Dec 2022
08 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Opinion: The Scientific and Community-Building Roles of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) - Past, Present, and Future

Daniele Visioni1, Ben Kravitz2,3, Alan Robock4, Simone Tilmes5, Jim M. Haywood6,7, Olivier Boucher8, Mark Lawrence9, Peter Irvine10, Ulrike Niemeier11, Lili Xia4, Gabriel Chiodo12, Chris Lennard13, Shingo Watanabe14, John C. Moore15,16,17, and Helene Muri18 Daniele Visioni et al.
  • 1Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
  • 2Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  • 3Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 4Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
  • 5National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 6Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
  • 7College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  • 8Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Sorbonne Université/CNRS, Paris, France
  • 9Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Berliner Str. 130, 14467 Potsdam, Germany
  • 10Earth Sciences, University College London, UK
  • 11Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 12Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 13Climate System Analysis Group, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • 14Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Japan
  • 15College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
  • 16CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 17Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, 96101, Finland
  • 18Industrial Ecology Programme, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Abstract. The Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) is a coordinating framework, started in 2010, that includes a series of standardized climate model experiments aimed at understanding the physical processes and projected impacts of solar geoengineering. Numerous experiments have been conducted, and numerous more have been proposed as "testbed'' experiments, spanning a variety of geoengineering techniques aimed at modifying the planetary radiation budget: stratospheric aerosol injection, marine cloud brightening, surface albedo modification, cirrus cloud thinning and sunshade mirrors. To date, more than one hundred studies have been published that used results from GeoMIP simulations. Here we provide a critical assessment of GeoMIP and its experiments.

We discuss its successes and missed opportunities, for instance in terms of which experiments elicited more interest from the scientific community and which didn't, and the potential reasons why that happened. We also discuss the knowledge that GeoMIP has contributed to the field of geoengineering research and climate science as a whole: what have we learned in terms of inter-model differences, robustness of the projected outcomes for specific geoengineering methods and future areas of models' development that would be necessary in the future. We also offer multiple examples of cases where GeoMIP experiments were fundamental for international assessments of climate change.

Finally, we provide a series of recommendations, regarding both future experiments and more general activities, with the goal of continuously deepening our understanding of the effects of potential geoengineering approaches, as well as reducing uncertainties in climate outcomes, important for assessing wider impacts on societies and ecosystems. In doing so, we refine the purpose of GeoMIP and outline a series of criteria whereby GeoMIP can best serve its participants, stakeholders, and the broader science community.

Daniele Visioni et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-766', K. Caldeira, 13 Dec 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-766', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Jan 2023

Daniele Visioni et al.

Daniele Visioni et al.


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Short summary
Geoengineering indicates methods which aim to reduce the temperature of the planet by means of reflecting back a part of the incoming radiation before it reaches the surface, or allowing some more of the planetary radiation to escape to space. GeoMIP aims to produce modelling experiments that are easy to reproduce and compare with different climate models, in order to understand the potential impacts of these techniques. Here we assess its past successes and failures, and talk about its future.